Our Astronomical History.
Do you have that friend? You know the one, you’re sitting outside on a warm evening, post twilight, and they casually point out a constellation or star and marvel that it can be seen at that exact moment? If you are like me – we have good friends in Coos Bay that seem to know every constellation and happening in the sky – long before SkyWalk Apps. I was so wowed by their knowledge that I purchased one of those circle slide-y overlay thingamabobs that I could arrange to the date, hold up to the sky, and know what was up there. That didn’t work. So I purchased quite a few books, with the overlays, months, seasons, hemispheres, information – so much information – that on any given night, I’d try to match it up to the sky – even putting red cellophane on a flashlight so I could read the book and match the sky at the same time. After a couple of frustrating attempts, the books went back to the Large Book shelf (i.e. the floor). Enter the age of the iPod – with the sky maps linked to your camera – and we got a bit closer to knowing what was in the sky if we had a question – but again – so much information – without an interest point – or a why.
We are a Why Family.
Our studies and learning usually come from the entry point of a question. It is difficult to have such a wealth of information from the Astronomy books – and break it into bite size challenges.
Enter – Celestial Almanack.
I quickly downloaded the Celestial Almanack from CurrClick, which I received for free as part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. I did notice, that to purchase a single Almanack – it is $3.00 or less with sales!
I printed the Almanack, or rather pages 2-18, the meat of the booklet for ink reasons, and enjoyed reading it on the dock. e-Book or Print, I enjoyed the beautiful fonts and graphics. Starting on Page 3, I REALLY enjoyed the welcoming letter to the “Courteous Reader”, signed by “Your Humble Servant”, encouraging us with an overview of the month. Teaching us the history of February, Leap Year, and Groundhog Day. I especially enjoyed reading about the scriptures related to this month in specifics:
A beautiful chart of the days of February
(Blurred photo on purpose – Just showing format)
Rich with History, Quotes, Scriptures –
Several bright and beautiful graphics of the Day and Night Sky.
All object discussed are able to be seen with the unaided eye.
We were having a beach party on the evening that the Moon would be placed in the sky at the exact point that the sun would be placed on summer solstice. I took note, both at our home, above the trees to the south over the lake, and at the beach over the river. The moon is so incredibly high, compared to the placement of the sun on the horizon during the winter.
I look forward to future volumes. Even with the cloud cover of the pacific northwest – it is incredibly important to know what the moon and sun is up to. We live by the tides, storms, changes. The moon dictates our tides, regular to negative/positive – the tides tell us when it is safe to be on a long walk, the storms let us know when to prepare the land. On just about every day, we can give you high/low tide times, visibility distances, places to find agate beds, and now deep into learning the temperatures of the water in the lake and ocean, how the swells develop, how high are they, how many seconds apart, which direction?
When we started this fire on the beach (note that it is a couple of feet taller than my husband), the river was a small slip of a stream, 100+ yards away from the people, and came quite close towards high tide. We watched many families get swept into the river, tossed over, because they didn’t know, or didn’t care that the tide had changed, and that the waves would come in stronger. No one, today, was hurt, but cellphones, cameras, iPods are hard to replace!
Another reason to know moon cycles on the coast? Crabs become abundant on the incoming high tide at the full moon cycle.
It’s so dark, that you can’t put them back, so they burry into the sand to escape. . . Nate went around pulling them out and tossing them back so they wouldn’t get stepped on in the dark – way off topic, but a fun evening.
So – If you are looking for just about the easiest way to get to know your sky right now – I have not run across a better resource. I SO enjoyed the biblical, historical side, and the easy to understand side. I love knowing which planets are visible and where, and being able to focus on a few bright constellations (Orion & Auriga).
Head over to Currclick – the last I saw, they were offering the February edition as a preview for free – but their sales go on and off quickly! I promise, and I seldom say this with a product review – you will NOT waste your $3.00.
Come and see how my fellow crewmates have used this resource! And to get more of the meat and bones facts of the product as well.
Our moon, over the lake, shining in my bedroom window, at 4am. Might as well go outside and take some pictures!